I don’t know if the Lien (連) family is extremely lucky or very unlucky. In just two weeks, Sean Lien (連勝文) was shot in the face, but survived against one-in-a-million odds, while China forced its new “Confucius Peace Prize” on his father, Lien Chan (連戰), who didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
The man suspected of shooting Sean Lien was reportedly involved in organized crime, and whether he was seeking revenge and just shot the wrong man or had some other motivation and really aimed for Sean Lien, Sean Lien was hit.
The prize given to Lien Chan was issued by a gangster regime, and whether or not he wanted the prize, it was given to him. Organized crime and gangster regimes both use coercive methods, and in this case, one is as bad as the other.
China gave the award to Lien Chan to use him as a tool in its fight against the Nobel Peace Prize. This was probably hard to accept for Lien Chan, who once taught Western political thought at university level. Western democracy deals with individual rights, liberties and dignity, while gangster regimes are concerned about the state, but ignore the individual.
Liu Xiaobo (劉曉撥) was imprisoned for his peaceful protest to demand the human rights that are enshrined in the Chinese Constitution, and that was why he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Lien Chan does not care for Taiwanese democracy, liberty or human rights and instead kowtows to a gangster regime, and that is why he can stop dreaming of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Confucius Peace Prize only serves to highlight China’s domineering ways. It is an invader that uses armed threats to force the country to surrender, and then sets up a “peace prize” to be awarded to the surrendering country. This is not an equal or just “peace,” nor is it an example of Western political thought.
Lien Chan sold Taiwan down the river when he signed the five-point “vision” reached during his visit to China in 2005. While that clearly does not meet the requirements for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, it does highlight the domineering aspect of the Confucius Peace Prize: The Chinese government didn’t force the award onto Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), although Hu shared in the “glory” with Lien Chan, while Lien Chan probably felt it would have been shameful to accept the award.
While Confucius lauded the authoritarian ways of the old emperors, his thinking also included some ideas about the best interests of the public.
Awarding the Confucius Peace Prize to Lien Chan, however, displays the gangster attitude that “you shall force unto others that which you do not want others to force unto you,” by pointing out that Lien Chan has “political wisdom” and therefore “will not reject the Confucius Peace Prize.”
Representatives of the award also said Lien Chan, who was nowhere to be seen at the award ceremony, has “quietly agreed” to accept and receive the award.
When this gangster regime forced the award onto Lien Chan, it did so with a threat in its voice to force him to “swallow it,” and Lien Chan dares not reject it. While China can certainly read people well, Lien Chan’s “political wisdom” is also greater than most.
James Wang is a commentator based in Taipei.
TRANSLATED BY PERRY SVENSSON